Trader Articles

In case you’ve just tuned into my articles, I really, really don’t take too much time to think about what I’ll write about. I don’t do politics (I save that for my Letters to the Editor), and I don’t do religion unless it’s to talk about my Catholic School daze………… But my articles are truly “Off the Cuff” and this one will be no exception. Anyway, moving right along, I went out to get the paper this morning and on the way back into the yard I caught a glimpse of our Harley covered with its blanket in the garage. I started thinking about when we might have a warm summer day and Gary and I could go for a ride. I decided to check the saddlebags to see if my gear was still in there, my gloves and glasses and my helmet. Suddenly I had an idea! I decided to write about my helmet.  I will warn you that some of this material could be offensive, or funny, depending on your outlook towards life.



Gary and I got married in 2000 at the Reno/Carson Harley Davidson Shop during Street Vibrations. It’s a yearly event involving literally thousands of bikes. For three days the highway between Reno and Virginia City is a roaring parade of chrome and leather. The Harley shop where we got married had a stage set up in the store with a huge Bar & Shield, candles and fake flowers. The bride wore black leather with a big white veil. We had matching T-shirts that said “Riverwood Inn” and then, “Just Married” printed on the back so when we rode away we wouldn’t have to have cans tied to the bike. It was a totally insane wedding. All our friends were there along with about a thousand other people we didn’t know including Sonny Barger who was doing a book signing the next aisle over. We don’t like to wear big helmets. We both figure that if we hit a tree we’re not going to make it anyway, besides, they get heavy and hot so we both wear what are called Beanie helmets. I’ve had mine for years. It’s got bug guts and a scratch here and there which I think gives it character. During that Reno wedding trip, I bought a bunch of stickers and stuck them all over my helmet. I don’t know why I did that…..I’m sure that the excitement of the moment must have addled my brain, but now after ten years the stickers are still on my helmet and I’m still addled. Here’s a sample of some of my stickers. Again, don’t read this if you’re easily offended by nonsense.



 “Sex After Sixty is like Shooting Pool With A Rope.” Now, I wouldn’t know about that because Gary isn’t sixty yet and even though I am, I don’t have a rope, but I’m sure that I’ll find out in another five years or so if it’s true. I hope it’s a lie. If I’m still writing this drivel in five years, I’ll let you all know. Here’s one of my favorites: “Would You Drive Better With The Phone Up Your _____?” You fill in the blanks……but ten years ago everyone was talking on phones and driving through intersections without looking for motorcycles so it seemed appropriate at the time. Now everyone looks like they’re talking to themselves and have these big things stuck on their ears which is even weirder…. How about this one? “I Bet Clinton Wishes Kennedy Gave Monica a Ride Home.” I know that’s outdated, but again ten years ago it wasn’t such a stretch. Why did I put that on my helmet? It’s probably a collector’s item now and maybe that will make my raggedy helmet worth something after I die. Here’s one of my favorites: “A Wise Monkey Doesn’t Monkey With Another Monkeys’ Monkey!” If everyone lived by that rule there would be no divorce, but probably no fun either. Here’s one that some might find offensive, but after the Monkey sticker it seems to fit. Here we go!: “If It Has Testicles Or Tires It Will Give You Problems”. Anyone that owns a Harley will know that’s true, about the tires, I mean. It seems we need a new set every summer but it also seems that we never ride anywhere either. And all men are a pain, but we can’t live without them. After all, who would we cook for?



One warm Sunday we rode the bike up to Gil’s By the Bay in Fields Landing for brunch. I love that spot. They have the best Monte Cristo sandwich and the deck on a sunny day is just delicious. We parked the bike out front and left our helmets on the seat. I never thought about my helmet being offensive, but as we sat there eating I realized that most of the people arriving at the restaurant appeared to have just come from church. A few ladies, as they walked by the bike, stopped and read my helmet. I noticed after a quick glance they would avert their eyes and hurry past. I told Gary I thought it might be a good idea if I went out and put the offensive helmet in the saddle bag so I left the table and made my way out to the bike. As I got there an elderly woman, all dressed for church, had stopped by the bike and was reading my helmet, but instead of being offended she was cracking up! Now, I’ve only mentioned a few of my stickers…..some of them can be quite offensive to certain people, but she just loved them. I did put the nasty thing in the saddlebag for the rest of the brunch, but every once in awhile I would look up and catch her looking at me and she would just shake her head and smile. I guess I made her day.


Most motorcycle runs don’t allow children. It’s not that they aren’t welcome, it’s just that common sense dictates that only 21 and over be allowed, so that’s why I like this sticker: “If Bike Week Were A Family Affair, Motorcycles Would Have Four Doors!” Who wants to party like a fool and act like an idiot while your kids are watching anyway?


When I wear my helmet, it scrunches my hair down and flattens my bangs. I try to tuck it all up but the sides eventually blow out and get so tangled that it’s an ordeal to brush them out. Before we had to wear helmets, I rode bareheaded. My hair would get so twisted and snarled that I would have to soak it in conditioner before I could comb it out. Then, after rinsing, I would pick the bugs out of the drain, so I like this one: “Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman With Helmet Head!” Combine that with this: “Well, This Day Was A Total Waste Of Makeup” and it makes one wonder why we ride motorcycles at all!